With a Masters Degree in Vocal Coaching and Accompanying from the University of Minnesota, and additional studies with Roger Vignoles at the Roger Vignoles Mentoring Progam and Malcolm Martineau as a 2017 Crear Scholar, I have extensive training from some of the world’s best vocal coaches and accompanists.
I have a knowledge of, and deep respect for tradition and style that I incorporate to facilitate, encourage and inspire individuality and artistic autonomy with each vocalist I work with. My coaching is no-nonsense and puts expressive singing and honest communication at the center our work. Through clarity of vowel, understanding of text, and consistency of legato, clients and students are able to achieve a deeper level of authenticity in their performing. Recent student and client successes include acceptance into some of the country’s top programs and institutions such as Chataqua Young Artist Program, Haymarket Opera, SongFest, Harrower Summer Opera Workshop and Des Moines Metro Opera Young Artist Program.
“Nothing encourages creativity like the chance to fall flat on one’s face.”
-James D. Finley
I am a passionate teacher. I am committed to giving students the tools they need to become better musicians, critical thinkers and autonomous artists. I have served as faculty coach at Viterbo University (LaCrosse, WI), and was Visiting Artist in Vocal Coaching & Collaborative Piano at the University of Northern Iowa (Cedar Falls, IA). My regular teaching engagements include Lundstrum Performing Arts in Minneapolis and Mount Olivet School of Music where I am the Collaborative Piano instructor.
I have given masterclasses at Muhlenberg College (Allentown, PA), Shawnee State University (Portsmouth, OH), and have been a guest lecturer at the University of Minnesota on topics of recital planning, historical researching and career building. I am also a frequent lecturer for the Schubert Club of St. Paul offering pre-concert lectures for their International Artist Series recitals.
As a conductor, I have had the privilege to work on fully-staged opera productions (University of Northern Iowa Opera, Chicago Folks Operetta, Ensemble113), workshops of opera premieres (Chicago Opera Vanguard), as well as numerous musical theatre and choral organizations. Currently, I am engaged as Assistant Conductor with the South Metro Chorale (Prior Lake, MN) and Calliope Women’s Chorus (St. Paul, MN). I also serve as the Director of Music at Calvin Presbyterian Church in Long Lake, MN.
“…at a time when so much music in theater is canned, it was a pleasure to enjoy a live band with pianist Mark Bilyeu as leader…” ChicagoCritic.com